The Rebel Emperors of Britannia, Carausius and Allectus | Sam Moorhead and Graham Barker (downloadable PDF)
One of the most exciting periods of Britain’s history under the Romans remains largely unknown today. Yet, at the end of third century AD, two men successively ruled the island, together with parts of the Continental coast, as emperors of Britannia for a period of ten years. They minted their own coins, initiated Britain’s first truly integrated defence system and successfully repelled an invasion from the mighty Roman empire. This is the story of Carausius and Allectus – the rebel emperors of Britannia.
They were major thorns in the side of Rome and posed a huge threat to the authority of Diocletian and Maximian. It took ten years, after Carausius first rebelled, for the Roman empire to mount a second invasion and this time it was successful. Britain rejoined the ‘Eternal Light of Rome’ and the victory was accompanied by tremendous celebrations.
There was an attempt to wipe the names of Carausius and Allectus from history but enough evidence remains to piece together this extraordinary episode in the annals of Britain. The rebel emperors were recorded in a few later histories and found fame again in the 18th century. Carausius, in particular, was celebrated as a great naval hero who stood up to the might of Rome.
Contemporary sources in the third century AD damned them as criminals and pirates. This book aims to set the record straight and details the remarkable achievements of Carausius and Allectus, the rebel emperors of Britannia.